Category Archives for "Coach Nancy"

Get a Grip on Meal Planning

Planning meals has been proven to help you in your health journey. It's right up there with stepping on the scale if your goal is weight loss. On top of that there are other side benefits that you'll love. Meal planning saves time, relieves stress, and keeps money in your wallet. And yet, it stills feels like the one thing that holds us back. Let's look at meal planning with a slightly different twist. 

Let's do an experiment to see how you succeed with this version of meal planning.

1. List out all the dinner meals you and your family enjoy eating during this time of year. That list will probably be a bit different in the Summer vs. the Fall vs. the cold of Winter. How many did you get? Aim for at least 10 different dinner meals. Remember some of these might be the quick options like picking up a rotisserie chicken while others are all day cooking affairs like homemade spaghetti sauce.

2. Do you have on hand all the items to make these meals? Check your cupboards, freezer, and fridge. Some items can be kept, like canned goods, all year round; others are best fresh so you'll have to purchase those items. But then others can be pulled from the freezer when you need them.

3. Look at your schedule. See what is coming up that might pull you away from making a meal or that might require a meal that is very quick to make. I leave cans of tuna in my cupboard because when fast and speedy is required, I can quickly put tuna on a salad or cook up some tuna patties. If you will be away from home one night, you'll end up with more options to chose from on the other evenings.

4. Again take a peak at your schedule, this time looking for those times when you might be able to spend more time in your kitchen than usual. I often can do this on Sundays. Its during this time, I prep what I can for other meals, but I can also make a dish that takes more time than I usually have to prepare dinner.

5. With your favorite dinner meal ideas in one hand and the list of items you need to make these meals in another, head off to the store.

6. Now when it comes time for your next dinner, you've got options to choose from.

 Did you know Coach Dean came up with an entire guide to Meal Planning. It covers everything. You should check it out here.

To Your Best Health,

Coach Nancy

Reason 21 and 22 Why Cr8 Fitness is Amazing!

There are 5 banners hanging on the walls of Cr8 Fitness. Each one holds 5 names. Those names represent an amazing person who has trained with us for 10 years. That is 120 months of training or 480 weeks or 1920 hours for each one of those people. They deserve to be highlighted. Each person has dedicated time each week to keep themselves healthy and strong. One shout out doesn't seem like enough. They'll forever be on the walls of Cr8 Fitness.

We just added two more names to our banner. Lori and Wayne have joined the crew of Banner peeps. 

I can't wait to see your name hanging on the wall to forever shout out your accomplishment.

There's room for more names just like there is room for more pictures to be taken. Keep making It happen,

Coach Nancy

Greek Cucumber Salad Recipe

I made this for the family on Monday. It made a huge bowl. Just a smidge leftover - it was that good.

Greek Cucumber Salad

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic pepper
  • 1 15- ounce cans quartered artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 can olives , sliced
  • 4 cucumber , cut into 3/8" slices
  • 1 red onion , thinly sliced
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 avocado sliced
  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained
  • 1/4 cup of chopped chives

You can add some olive oil to this recipe. I didn't because the artichokes were in an olive oil base.

I'm tempted to make this again. Dean said it was a meal all in itself. I had my Greek Salad on Papa Dean's Microgreens.

Next time I made this recipe I didn't use Artichoke hearts. I added a 3 cups of cooked Quinoa to it. Also very good.

To good food,

Coach Nancy

Happy Birthday to Us

We’ve always celebrated birthdays together. We sometimes celebrate them twice because you are just that special. Alone? I would never have guessed that I would be doing so many Birthday Burpees. We do Birthday burpees for your birthday, we do burpees for my birthday and we do birthday burpees for Cr8 Fitness’s Birthday. This year we turn 14!

I love of my Cr8 Family.

On May 8, 2008, in the middle of another really bad economic downturn, we ran our first training. 5:00am, under lights we rigged up on a basketball hoop in our yard. 1 paying client and 9 crazy friends turned into 2 locations, one of which we sold on 2018 and is now under the stewardship of the amazing Meagan Sbat. You might know that gym as it exists under our original name – Get Fit NH. I am so grateful for all the wonderful people and amazing relationships built while that gym was under our care.

Today we have over 100 people who show up regularly to the Little Gym in the Woods to train hard. We have a blast while here. The benefits of physical training are immense. Adding in the stress relief, health benefits, and energy boosts, it seems it can’t get much better. Yet the relationships we share and the bond we develop becomes priceless. 

I don’t know what tomorrow brings. I don’t know how many more years Cr8 Fitness will be around; we are probably going to retire sometime in the next 15 or 20 years, right? 🙂 But however long we are here we will continue to serve you in the best way we know how. To get better, like you are getting better. To coach you to eat well and exercise smart, to have fun, and to enjoy life.

We couldn’t, and can’t, do it without you.

Thank-you for choosing to train with us.

Happy Birthday, and here’s to many more.

Coach Nancy

I have more birthday wishes and shout outs coming your way. Be on the look out for them

Probably the Cheapest Step to Better Health

Take the quiz below to find out the best way to start better nutritional habits for life.

What one food item do 75% of Americans not get enough of daily?

  • Twinkies
  • Dark chocolate
  • Ice cream Sundaes
  • Water

What is one system of your body that typically feels like hunger even if you know you are not?

  • The emotional heart break
  • The Mind games that are played at work
  • Stress after looking at our bank statement
  • Thirst. Instead of drinking you tend to eat

The number one cause of daytime fatigue is?

  • Not taking a break at work
  • Eating too much at your lunch hour
  • Having to sit at a desk all day
  • Lack of hydration, you need to drink more water

What can you consume to ease back and joint pain for 80% of people?

  • Bacon, (Hint: not everything is better with bacon)
  • Ketchup, (another hint: you can’t cover up pain, it’s inside you)
  • Sprinkles or Jimmies, (rainbows and sparkles roll right off your back and don’t stick to your joints)
  • Water (hint: water aids in lubricating our joints)

5 Glasses of water a day can decrease the risk of?

  • Colon Cancer by 45%
  • Breast Cancer by 79%
  • Bladder Cancer by 50%
  • All of the Above

If you are just 3% dehydrated, what starts to slow down?

  • Short term memory- Ever walk upstairs and wonder why you did?
  • Our intestinal tract
  • Metabolism
  • All of the Above

By now you might have guessed that the last answer was the correct answer to each question.

 Water is the most important nutrient we can feed our bodies. Let’s face it we all know we can survive a lot longer without food than without water but we certainly don't act like it. If you are like me, I sometimes feel like I am starving (like every few hours) and yet I rarely say I am dying of thirst. If I truly believed that water is the most important nutrient I would be drinking water all the time. Again I usually drink with my meals and rarely in between. To me that looks like I am giving just as much focus on the food I eat as the water I drink. Science tells us that the body would die without water in just a few days and yet we could survive 3-4 times that without food. Some of us could go even longer. What do we need so much water for?

· 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. (Likely applies to half world pop.)

· In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is often mistaken for hunger.

· Even MILD dehydration will slow down one's metabolism as much as 3%.

· One glass of water deters hunger pangs for 98% of the dieters observed in a University of Washington study.

· The biggest trigger of daytime fatigue is lack of water.

· Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain for up to 80% of sufferers.

· A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a printed page.

· Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, breast cancer by 79%, and develop bladder cancer by 50%.

· Water serves as a lubricant

· Water forms the base for saliva

· Water forms the fluids that surround the joints.

· Water regulates the body temperature, as the cooling and heating is distributed through perspiration.

· Water helps to alleviate constipation by moving food through the intestinal tract and thereby eliminating waste- the best detox agent.

· Regulates metabolism

Did you see that last one? That is how our bodies use the fuel we give it.

This list is not exhaustive but it only touches the surface. Our bodies are 98% water so we need to replenish it and renew it.

So how much water does all this take? Researchers say to take half of your body weight and drink that in ounces. So if you weigh 150 pounds that is 75 ounces of water a day. Remember the 8-10 glasses that your doctor told you to drink. If there are 8 ounces of water in each glass you are not getting enough. (10 glasses times 8 ounces is only 80 ounces of water, so make it 16 ounces of water or two cups in each glass and you are there.)


Drink up,

Coach Nancy


You Are Not a Unicorn – Recovery Week is Coming

Ever since we opened the doors of our training gyms, recovery weeks have been built into the training schedule. This is not an accident. Neither is it just “vacation time” for Dean and Nancy, although those are the only weeks we can schedule time off. Our next recovery week is April 3-9. 

To me recovery is instinctual. Training hard is taxing on the body and the mind. There is a point where your CNS (Central Nervous System” says NO MORE, and training starts to make you worse, not better. Our goal is that you never reach anywhere close to that point. We were doing “recovery” before recovery was cool, and we ain’t a gonna stop now! 🙂

You might be cute, but you are NOT a Unicorn!

In fact proper recovery between workouts is factored in as we design your training program as well. It’s one of the reasons we do not have regular training on Wednesdays. Two days on, one day off, two days on, two days off is by design. More is not better, better is better.

As I have gotten older, I have become even more sensitive to recovery. I have a book in my library by science writer Christie Aschwanden called “Good to Go”. The subtitle is “What the athlete in all of us can learn from the strange science of recovery”.

“Strange Science”?

The science of recovery is pretty new, and there are some pretty weird, wild and yet-to-be-proven things that people do to recover. From recovery pajamas to float tanks, the book examines it all.

When it comes down to it, what we are trying to do is recover from the systemic stress that is placed on our body and mind on a daily basis. This is hardly just training stress. Work, kids, traffic, politics, illness (world wide pandemics)- you name it, there are a lot of stressors in life. We want to manage the overall stress load in order that we can achieve physical and athletic improvement. 

The biggest take home I got from the book is no secret – the #1 thing you can do to de-stress, and enhance recovery is sleep. Not always easy, I know. You are talking to someone whose alarm goes off before 4:00am. I get it. But I do what I can to get as much as I can whenever I can.

One of the simplest ways to monitor your recovery is to measure and log your Resting Heart Rate every morning when you get up. I use one of these $15 devices to take my pulse and SpO2 every morning – takes about 30 seconds. If your RHR is trending up, it’s a good sign your recovery is compromised.

The bottom line. Enjoy your recovery week. It is a purposeful part of your training plan, and just like you don’t want to miss workout days, you don’t want to miss recovery days. You WILL NOT de-train in 7-10 days, so chill out – you are NOT a unicorn.

If you want more on the science of recovery, keep reading. 

Train Hard. Recover Harder.

Coach Nancy

Our recovery weeks are what I would call Macro-Recovery. In other words we take a planned week off every training phase in order to let the body rest up from hard training and get ready for the next phase.

The Recovery Curve

I saw the recovery curve for the first time during my time with Australian physical preparation coach Ian King. His principles laid the foundation for the way we program, train and especially recover here at Get Fit NH. The principles that work with professional athletes apply to us too!

The following illustrates a “good” recovery curve:

The green line represents what we are all looking for – continual, never ending progress over time. We are getting stronger, faster, thinner, better looking (ok at least that’s what I wish for).

Reality Check – ain’t gonna happen. The process of changing your body is not linear, in fact what we are looking at in an optimal training environment is more of a “One step back brings me Two steps forward”.

A closer look at the chart will help explain what I mean.

The red line represents Equilibrium. This is where your body wants to stay, no matter if your goal is losing fat, gaining lean, or both. As you have no doubt found out, forcing your body to change is hard work – really hard work. When you walk into Get Fit NH, our training is designed to elicit that change. But it’s not as simple as “working out” day after day after day. In fact as I am about to illustrate, training without proper recovery is actually hurting you, not making you better.

The blue line represents the “recovery curve”. Starting at the left hand of the chart all the lines intersect. For this illustration that point is where your first training occurred – you “worked out”.

But what’s going on?

Instead of performance going up, that line is actually heading down – this is what is called Depletion. If you think about it makes sense – you have worked hard, you are fatigued, your body is depleted of nutrients – you are spent!

Don’t worry, your body will get over it, if you treat it right! This is what we call Adaptation. Your body wants to be able to handle the increased demand that was placed on it, and starts the process of getting better.

You are in charge of if and how fast that happens. A few of the factors that influence this adaptation include recovery nutrition, stress levels, sleep habits, supportive nutrition, age, and training history.

The recovery curve continues with Supercompensation. Here is how Coach King describes this process:

“It is only when recovery is allowed that we see the super-compensation effect, the unique phenomenon where the bodies physical capacity is elevated in response to training, in anticipation of another exposure to the same stimulus.” – King, I, 1999/2000, Foundations of Physical Preparation

In other words your body has gotten better in response to your training, a new Equilibrium is established and this state is when we will ideally train again. Our programming at Get Fit NH is carefully designed to give this the best chance of occurring, but as I hope you are discovering, you have a lot to do with this with how you treat your recovery!

As you can see, when things are clicking, this process when repeated over and over means you are getting better and better, the blue line is headed up – pretty cool!

The flip side to all this is what happens when the recovery process isn’t working so well.

This chart represents recovery gone “bad”:

When we continue to train in a state of “Depletion”, regardless of the reason, the adaptation to super-compensation effect doesn’t occur, and instead of getting better, we find ourselves in a downward cycle. This can happen when we train the same muscle groups too soon, when we haven’t taken the steps described above to recover optimally (sleep and nutrition for instance) regardless of time between training, when we train too hard coming off an illness, etc. The last thing we want to happen is new equilibrium to be established in a downward pattern – not good.

The long and short of it is your body absolutely needs to recover from hard training. Consistently training in a fatigued state results in injury and illness. Your body is an amazing machine designed to put up with a lot, but it was also designed to need rest. Recovery weeks provide that rest.

If you want to know more about the recovery tools I use and why you should consider them, hit me up and let’s talk.

Coach Dean

What it Takes to Be a Gym Bro

My kids are always keeping me on my toes. They also keep me smiling. So when Drew starting telling me what it takes to be a Gym Bro, I had to get it recorded for all time. My peeps at 5am training will especially like the qualifications of being a Gym Bro. Watch the video below and then I'll let you know another sure sign of being a real 'Gym Bro'. 

Drew is a really terrific kid. Not all the Carlson kids want to be on video. Now whether or not he was leading us all astray time will tell. Either way he made us all smile. 

Now 5am would add once you arrive, (rule number 1) in your flannel (rule number 2) you would use lots of chalk (rule number 3). 

I'm pretty sure the overarching rule is when you go to the gym, hang out with peeps who will allow you to have fun while challenging you to work hard. We do that here at Cr8 Fitnes.

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

Recovery Week is Right Around the Corner

Recovery week is scheduled for Monday, April 4th – Friday, April 8th. We love to see each of you and we also know for  your best health and training ability we design “Rest” weeks into the training calendar. If you’ve trained with us for any length of time you’ve discovered the benefits and joys of recovery week in helping you progress onward and upward.

So how can you best use recovery week?

You’ve already set aside the hour to train your body, Here are 20 different ways to use that hour during recovery week:

  1. Plan your meals and snacks for the week
  2. Find a new recipe and try it
  3. Have a massage at Chichester Massage and Body Works (remember Cr8 Fitness members receive a special price, just ask)
  4. Go for a hike with your family
  5. Roll on a tennis ball or better yet a LaCrosse ball
  6. Spend extra time with your kids and spouse
  7. Prepare your ingredients to make next week’s mealtime easier and faster
  8. Sleep in (especially for those crazy 5am-ers)
  9. Stretch
  10. Take a bike ride
  11. Have game night with your family
  12. Invite friends over for dinner
  13. Foam roll
  14. The dog needs some attention too
  15. Stretch with a purple band
  16. Go dancing
  17. Catch up on  your reading
  18. Do some activity that has been on your To Do list for a while
  19. Go Fishing
  20. Miss Cr8 Fitness terribly 🙂

To your best health,

Coach Nancy

(As for me this recovery week I will be with my oldest daughter. My kids are extremely talented. Karalynn just took 1st place in regionals in an art competition. My plan is to take her to the national competition. Amy also took 1st place and next year she will also be eligible to go is she wins again. Wow. They have talent.)  

Add Some Humor (and Health)Into Your Day

I train some of the most awesomest (yes, that's a word) people in the world. While these people rock the hard work, they also put up with my antics. Tuesday has become tell a joke Tuesday. Lynne and Doreen might be kidding or maybe they're not. I do know these ladies work hard. They prove their dedication to themselves, their families, and friends as they've consistently worked on their health for over 10 years with Cr8 Fitness. 

Doreen and Lynne usually train at different times during the day but the family atmosphere at Cr8 Fitness drives friendships to form over training times and days. 

You've heard their goals. What are you working on to increase your health this year? 

Coach Nancy

I Can’t Believe These Numbers

I was looking around the gym this morning and realized something amazing. Each person there had been training at Cr8 Fitness for at least 5 years. Dan has been with us since Day 1. What a testament to each person's determination and endurance. They all bring a new thread to the fabric at 6:15am. I am grateful as it also says they must in some small way enjoy hanging out with me too. Next time I take a video I'll ask them the results that they've seen in that time. For now just stand in awe as you add those numbers up. 

Did you add those numbers up as they shouted them out? I did. Dan has actually been here almost 14 years so that makes a grand total of 74 years of training between them. How cool is that? By the way one of our oldest clients at Cr8 Fitness is 74. (I'm not revealing names)

Keep Making It Happen,

Coach Nancy

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